When I landed in bangalore I found that it was easy to interact in hindi with people. Almost everyone here seemed to know hindi. Once I was in a bus stop and I wanted to ask whether the bus was going to ‘Majestic’ and if not which buses would. I tried it in hindi and unfortunately the conductor did not seem to know hindi that well. He tried telling something to me in kannada which I could not understand much. We let it go and suddenly I realized that the bus was playing tamil songs. I asked him if he knew tamil (of course in tamil) and he seemed relieved and happily said ‘aamam’ (meaning ‘yes’). That was really funny, two tamilians in bangalore trying to interact in every other language, but tamil.
After that experience, whenever I was doubtful I would say ‘Tamil, Hindi, English’ even before I start speaking to them. I hopefully will get one of the above 3 going. Still there are people who respond saying ‘kannada’ . Then I tell them ‘Kannada Gothilla’ (Don’t know kannada) and call my wife who speaks it quite fluently much to my jelousy. She is learning ‘telugu’ too from her colleagues. With that we will have a language net that hopefully will be sufficient.